Numbers to Know: Cardinals vs. Cowboys Playing 50 Years After First MNF Matchup
Let's start with the number 1. The first ever Monday Night Football game in Cardinals history was against the Dallas Cowboys in 1970. Representing St. Louis then, the Cardinals, led by head coach Charley Winner and quarterback Jim Hart, defeated Tom Landry’s Cowboys 38-0 on Nov. 16, 1970.
In 2020, the two face off again, but the Cowboys getting shut out seems farfetched given they have scored the third-most points in the league through five weeks. This is a big game for the 3-2 Cardinals to climb the NFC West standings. The Seattle Seahawks have a bye and the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers face off.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has a history in Dallas. He played his high-school football for Allen, just north of the city, where he went 43-0 as a starter. Allen won three state titles with Murray under center, all three of which were played at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Murray is currently 7-0 in that building, with five wins in high school and two in college (one as a backup).
His last game there was a masterpiece, as he passed for 379 yards and three touchdowns and had 39 rushing yards playing for Oklahoma in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has four 100-scrimmage yards games this season. He and Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley are the only two position players to do so through five weeks. Ridley failed to add to his total, gaining 69 yards in Atlanta's win Sunday over Minnesota.
The Cowboys lost starting quarterback Dak Prescott for the season due to an ankle injury he sustained last Sunday. However, Dallas has a deep offensive arsenal and its backup quarterback Andy Dalton has nearly a decade of starting experience. The passing offense is still dangerous, and Elliott was already a profound part of the air raid as well as the ground game.
Murray has five rushing touchdowns in five weeks. With one more touchdown run, Murray would break Jim Hart’s franchise record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
It's Week 6.
The Cardinals had two outside linebackers practice fully this week: Haason Reddick and Reggie Walker, who is on the practice squad.
All-Pro Chandler Jones is out for the season after sustaining a biceps injury last week. Kylie Fitts was ruled out and Dennis Gardeck and Devon Kennard were limited at practice and are questionable for Monday night.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he is hopeful Kennard will play and Gardeck said he was confident that we will be active. However, the Cowboys have blocked well this season and have a plethora of dangerous playmakers. Getting to the quarterback will be a key, and health concerns for the Cardinals are not ideal.
Both teams have a pair of receivers headlining categories in the NFL. Dallas has CeeDee Lamb, who leads all rookies in receptions with 29 and yards with 433. Lamb was also Murray’s teammate at Oklahoma.
The Cardinals have the league-leader in catches (45) and receiving yards (528) in DeAndre Hopkins. To tie Hopkins’ big start back to the number 29, that's how many first-down receptions he has this year, also the most in the NFL.